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  1. #1

    Digging a Cistern

    I'm thinking about digging cistern and wanted people's opinions on digging one. The house that use to be there was on the 1889 map. Not sure when they got the water system for the town but have you all add good luck digging cisterns?

    Just curious. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Cisterns can be hit or miss. I've dug a number of them and you can usually get a good idea by probing them. Any idea how big it is? On the big ones, any trash that is in them tends to be on one side. They can be a real project to dig with water and so forth so be prepared. The ones I have dug in Galveston are typically 12-20' wide and 6-7' deep. If they have trash it is usually 1910-1920 stuff...found some neat stuff in them over the years.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I have found that the age of the cisterns end in most towns in the mid 1920s . so if ,and that's a big IF there is any thing in there , it will be late . 1930s ,40s .

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bottle Master hemihampton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    I know of 3 or 4 Cisterns I want to dig but never have, mainly because the guys I dig with have little interest in them. I don't mind if they are full of 1930's or 40's garbage, as long as they are full of cone top Beer Cans thats fine with me, or ACL soda bottles or Milk Bottles. LEON.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bottle Finder
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    West Kentucky
    Usually, cisterns in towns were used until the town got water lines to the houses. They were then either collapsed or filled in with garbage & debris. Check your town's history to find out when your area got water. No one would deliberately throw anything into their water supply, so anything in the cistern would be dated after they got water to the house. Also, waterlines to the houses could have been laid several years before sewer lines.

  6. #6

    Cistern digging

    Iíve dug several in Brooklyn and Ling Island New York. Had some great finds in the 1860-1890 era botttes. Dug one that was so dry and filled with ash that many of the paper and painted labels survived!!!!
    Good luck!


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